Pace digs Pleasantville
Major Pleasantville Transformation Begins
Shovel-ready: Pace President Stephen J. Friedman (fifth from left) and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (sixth from left) were among the dignitaries at Pace's October 23 groundbreaking ceremony.
State, county, and local leaders joined with Pace University administrators on October 23 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Pleasantville Campus and break ground on the first phase of a plan to transform and revitalize the 200-acre site.
“As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of our Pleasantville Campus this year, we now prepare for the next half century with a major transformation of our campus. This project, together with new academic programs and related enhancements, represents a significant investment in and commitment to the future of the Pleasantville Campus,” said Pace President Stephen J. Friedman.
The formal groundbreaking ceremony, which was attended by more than 100 government and business leaders and members of the academic community, represents the culmination of more than four years of extensive planning. The $100 million project is one of the largest construction projects under way in the Hudson Valley region. The planned improvements are anticipated to be completed over a period of five to eight years.
The project will enable Pace to consolidate functions that are now split between campuses in Pleasantville and Briarcliff. Currently 690 students reside in Pleasantville and 590 in Briarcliff. The 35-acre Briarcliff location, which Pace opened in 1977, is for sale. While no classes are taught in Briarcliff, the plan will allow athletic and certain administration functions that are now there to be brought to Pleasantville.
The first phase of the project (Phase1A) will entail the creation of two new residential buildings, an expanded student center, the relocation of the environmental center, and athletic facilities necessary to replace those being vacated in Briarcliff. Improvements to the infrastructure, more open green space, and improving pedestrian accessibility are also part of the planned enhancements
“This master plan is a vision for a modern and sustainable campus designed to improve the student experience,” said William J. McGrath, senior vice president and chief administrative officer at Pace. “It will enable Pace to continue to attract and retain high quality students and to fulfill our educational mission.”
The planned improvements will have minimal visible impact on the surrounding area, and the 115-acre internal wooded buffer that wraps around the north, east, and southeast portions of the campus will remain undisturbed.
The plan represents a significant investment by Pace in the local and regional economy. As Westchester’s 13th largest employer, Pace contributes approximately $64 million annually to the county’s economy in direct and indirect spending.